Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said former President Barack Obama “should have kept his mouth shut” instead of criticizing Donald Trump in a private call to former members of his administration last week.
Obama called Trump’s response to the coronavirus “an absolute chaotic disaster” and expressed grave concern about the Justice Department’s decision to drop charges against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, saying it was a move that puts our “basic understanding of rule of law…at risk.”
Said McConnell to Lara Trump during a livestream: “I think it’s a little bit classless, frankly, to critique an administration that comes after you. You had your shot, you were there for eight years. I think the tradition that the Bush [presidents] set up — of not critiquing the president who comes after you — is a good tradition.”
Said Obama on the call to the Obama Alumni Association, according to Yahoo News: “This election that’s coming up on every level is so important because what we’re going to be battling is not just a particular individual or a political party. What we’re fighting against is these long-term trends in which being selfish, being tribal, being divided, and seeing others as an enemy — that has become a stronger impulse in American life. And by the way, we’re seeing that internationally as well. It’s part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and spotty. It would have been bad even with the best of governments. It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset — of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with everybody else’ — when that mindset is operationalized in our government. That’s why, I, by the way, am going to be spending as much time as necessary and campaigning as hard as I can for Joe Biden.”
He added: “The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn. And the fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”